Telco Asset Management
Access Revenue Solutions Overviews
Addressing the Access Minute Challenge (getting your minutes)
For the Telecommunications Industry Solutions
Are You Getting All Your Access Revenue? Reported Inter-exchange Carrier Access Minutes of Use (MOU) decline is accelerating, either
through billing anomalies or by design. The telephone company has no safe harbor to rely on, either from Inter-exchange Carriers or the Access Tandem.
What is Telco Asset Management?
The root cause of Access MOU decline might be “network arbitrage” or “Telco Asset Management” which is the means to obscure billing information to avoid paying access charges for service provided by the local telephone company.
CTS products provide alternative resources to challenge reported volumes where Inter-exchange Carrier data is the basis that access charges are computed on.
We believe that each local telephone company must decide to:
• Stay the course and remain using Inter-exchange Carrier recorded monthly volumes or
• Become proactive and insure end office toll volumes are being recorded and billed in the form of Telecom asset management access revenue.
Following is a challenge before the Alaska Exchange Carrier Association (AECA). It is typical of issues facing the local telephone company network nationally.
The AECA has determined that rural Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers (ILECs) who participatein the Alaska access pool shall review and determine where inconsistencies exist that have an impact on the billing or reporting of Access Minute volumes.
Correspondingly, Alaska’s rural ILECs are familiar with current and ongoing challenges that confront them, such as:
• Declining State and Interstate access minutes.
• Suspicion that monthly distribution reports provided by Inter-exchange carriers to the ILEC for access billing may be incomplete or omit call information required to complete message processing.
• A need to determine if access minute loss is to competitive service providers or internal billing or reporting processing errors.
• A need to find alternative methods to measure or record company Message Telephone Service (MTS) data as opposed to relying on Inter-exchange Carriers to provide recording function on all Toll Traffic.
How do you begin to address these challenges?
1. Let’s start at the end office: knowing how much Originating and Terminating Toll Usage is generated daily is the basis for Telco Asset Management where reporting or billing anomalies exist.
2. Next: we know what volume is offered to the Access Tandem. Then we can compare this volume on an hourly basis with the AMA records. Note: raw AMA volumes can either be recorded from your end offices or imported from the Inter-exchange Carriers for message processing. Filtered AMA can introduce mitigated results. Therefore, we recommend that only raw AMA be provided.
3. The final comparison is with SS-7 call detail (where equipped). SS-7 call detail contains not only minutes of usage, but also network information not contained in the AMA record that will help identify record:
c. Method of call completion
d. Billing in format
Why Measure your Network Traffic?
Traffic is more than collecting Peg Count and Usage of Inter-exchange facility statistical information. Proactive Network Monitoring provides the pulse of the daily “from and to” calling pattern necessary to provide adequate switching equipment to meet or exceed established Grade of Service objectives during the Busy Season period.
Traffic Separation Factor development is the means of developing mathematical factors to distribute ILEC/CLEC Equipment investment as defined by FCC and State Commission rules for
Cost Study and Revenue Requirements Studies.
CABS Revenue Assurance is the means to verify that all switched data and Special Access Circuits are being billed in compliance with NECA, Intrastate Access Charge or company specific Local Tariff rate structure:
• Facilities are inventoried.
• Tariff Rates or PIU factors are representative and applied to specific elements to perform billing and journaled.
• NECA #4 Tariff reflects company specific switching office arrangements such as Host
and Remote configurations.
• Meet Point Billing percentages or air-miles are accurate based on V & H coordinates.
• AMA is properly measured at your end office or by the Access Tandem or Inter-exchange Carrier. AMA is converted into Exchange Message Interface (EMI) record for Message processing. Addressing the Access Minute Challenge (getting your minutes).
The CTS team focuses on four key areas:
1: Review and verify end office traffic data MOU collection and summary procedures to provide comprehensive fact finding lists and recommendations. These lists and recommendations would be applied to revise or implement new procedures or methods.
2: Review and validate annual traffic separation factors to insure that fully distributed cost study development complies with commission rules to optimize investment assignment to categories.
3: Conduct review and validate MOU data comparison with AMA or SS-7 statistics to define and isolate un-billed or over-billed access minutes.
4: View client traffic data or provide through lease agreement, measurement Equipment to conduct traffic studies, AMA recording or SS-7 call detail recording.
CABS Revenue Assurance: Conduct CABS Revenue Assurance review of all end office CABS data and reconcile with Access Tandem or IXC recorded data. Then, provide detailed results with in-depth directives for anomaly resolution.
• We validate that Service Bureau message processing rules are accurately processing AMA and (EMI) traffic for billing of Access Minutes.
• We review AMA or SS-7 recording techniques and CABS Access Minute processing and reporting to National Exchange Carrier Association (NECA) and Exchange Carrier Association pools.
• We conduct trend analysis of top Inter-exchange Carrier data for volume detection and comparison back to end office recordings.
Network Integration and Issue Resolution:
Having the correct access billing level positions the opportunity to resolve current billing records between the local telephone company and the connecting Inter-exchange carriers. This can be an involved process. To expedite agreement, we interface with all parties to resolve billing related issues based upon our study results by:
• Conducting on-site meeting with Inter-exchange Carriers’ personnel to facilitate Telco Asset Management, AMA and SS-7 recording/reporting alternatives and issue resolution.
• Completing in-depth task assessment and findings, as defined by company management team.
• Providing the ILEC or Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (CLEC) with the means and support to identify and resolve company specific anomalies.
ILEC AND CLEC TRAINING
We provide customized in-house training on:
• CABS billing
• Traffic Monitoring
• Annual Traffic Factor development or data trending and analysis, or
• CTS equipment and application operation.
When your company is ready for a network review and/or internal evaluation, please contact our offices for a customized quotation. Review activity can be either high level or granular to meet company-guiding principles to resolve CABS or reporting issues.
CTS offers a full range of products and Telco Asset Management services designed to help your company realize its full Access Revenue potential, including consulting, hardware and software solutions. CTS has over 25 years of experience in the telecommunications industry, collecting, storing, and analyzing switch data.